Panaji: The All India Football Federation has convened an emergency meeting of all domestic clubs on Monday to sort out the players' availability issue for next week's Caribbean tour. (Agencies)
Uncertainty looms large over the Indian football team's tour to Caribbean after Dempo Sports Club shot off a letter to the AIFF yesterday, asking the national body to release its nine players who are presently attending a training camp in Delhi under coach Alberto Colaco, who is incidentally the secretary of the Goan club.
"We are hoping that some sort of a compromise will be worked out with the clubs, but even if the clubs remain adamant, I don't think the tour will be put off," said a senior AIFF official.
According to AIFF sources, if they fail to reach a compromise a second string side will tour Caribbean, where they are set to play three friendlies against national teams of Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago.
Dempo's vice-president, Manuel Rebello wrote to the AIFF for the release of its players from the national camp as some of them are carrying injuries and the Goan side does not want to risk them ahead of the Federation Cup and upcoming I-League.
"We understand that some other clubs have also refused to release their players sighting similar reasons," stated Rebello.
Dempo's reaction is direct fallout of reluctance from several other clubs including Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Pune FC and Salgaocar Sports Club to release players for what is now increasingly becoming an 'unfriendly tour'.
Dempo's chairman Shrinivas Dempo also said that the clubs are in a real dilemma and face serious difficulties.
The AIFF must realise this and ensure that club owners are taken into confidence before taking crucial decisions.
Panaji: The All India Football Federation has convened an emergency meeting of all domestic clubs on Monday to sort out the players' availability issue for next week's Caribbean tour.